I ran into Paige Herrera, who I had known all through elementary, middle and high school. At first I was running late for swimming lessons, and my dad was giving me a ride in his VW mini bus, where instead of a passenger seatbelt there was a shower that couldn’t be turned off. A team of buff girls in bright yellow swimmers populated one end of the pool, and a rag tag bunch non-athletic people sat waiting for swim lessons on the other. I joined the latter group and Paige lovingly stroked my hair.
One of the first memories I have of Paige is that she got me in a headlock in third grade and said she wouldn’t let me go until I told her she was my best friend. The last time we were in contact was when we graduated high school together. She invited me to her party, but I had gone on tour with my band the day after graduation. I was in a tent in Los Gatos CA when I realized I hadn’t responded to her invitation. I went up to her and said: “I know this is a dream, and the real you isn’t probably getting this message, but I wanted to say I’m sorry that I can’t come to your party.” The day after my most recent pool dream Paige reached out to me for the first time in years, with a picture of cursive handwriting practice we had done on a play-date in fourth grade that said: “Emily May Wingren and Paige Ashley Nicole Herrera, best friends forever and ever.” I told her about the dream.
After I left the pool I ended up in a tide pool in the gathering darkness. A blue whale was gliding toward me, looking me straight in the eye. It asked if I wanted to ride on its back. As we sailed through the deep clear water darkness fell, and I realized the whale had begun to fly through a field of multi colored stars.